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Declaring a medical condition

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by dominant_tonic, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. dominant_tonic

    dominant_tonic Established commenter

    Hi everyone.

    Didn't know where to post this, as after advice and some facts. I have tried searching, but nothing jumped out to explain.

    I am currently on supply in a lovely school and I think that the head is going to offer me a fixed term contract until July, whereupon the post will be advertised.

    I am in the process of receiving a diagnosis of lupus, this will probably be confirmed this week.

    It has caused me some pretty major difficulties in the past few years, and I have taken time off supply work to deal with it. However, I now understand it a little more, and can avoid the triggers, spot warning signs, and know which medication different ailments will respond to. Obviously I consider myself well enough to teach now, and have done so since March with no massive difficulties.

    In this situation then I am obviously hopeful that I will get the job in September (though not taking it for granted of course). What I want to know is this:

    1) In this manner of the head appointing me without formal advertising, when does the health questionnaire bit come into play?

    2) I don't want to deceive anyone, but likewise do not want my health discussed/broadcast etc. Is it just OH that sees these responses or will the HT as well?

    3) Would it ever become a matter for disciplinary or similar, if I were, some months/years down he line need time off because of this condition, but had not formally declared it at this point?

    I need no reasonable adjustments or anything of the sort.

    Thanks for any advice - and if anyone knows which forum this would be better suited to, please say!

    Thanks, domton.

    (Edited for anonymity reasons)
     
  2. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    I think you always need to be honest - but asking for (and getting) confidentiality seems totally normal.

    Good luck.
     
  3. midnight_angel

    midnight_angel Senior commenter

    Hi, I have a long term medical condition (which I have had since the age of 7), which like your own, is under control through medication.

    Here's what I've experienced: When offered a post, it is subject to satisfactory medical questionnaire. Now this means, are you able to do the job? Always declare the condition on the form - it is HR that will see this etc. In my case, I have no issue with others knowing about my condition, just in case something did happen, and so they'd know how to deal with it (it never has, as I said I have been controlling this thing since a small child, but considering I don't wish to end up in a coma, I feel it's best to prepare my colleagues, and our school nurse, for the worse. The school nurse also keeps my 'emergency kit').

    I was sent to OH on receiving my current job. It lasted 10 minutes. I haven't been hospitalised, as a direct result of it, in over 14 years and they were happy I could do my job. No mention of it since. The only effect it has had on my job is when I needed to have a day off to go to the hospital for my annual blood test and check up. I usually do this in the holidays, but wasn't able to one year.

    I wouldn't worry about the questionnaire, and remember OH is there to ensure that you are okay and that adjustments (if needed) are put in place so that you can do the job - they are not there to try and catch you out and stop you from bring employed.

    If you want your condition to be kept confidential, then I'd suggest speaking to HR about it, and asking that it be kept so. I will say though, that they won't go shouting it to everyone (even if the HT does know, (s)he too will have to keep it confidential - and remember they deal with sensitive staff matters all the time) - the staff who know about mine are rhe people I have told.

    Good luck with the application etc, when it comes up! Remember to head to Jobseekers and read all Theo's advice! ;)
     
    notsonorthernlass likes this.
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    .

    That is a lovely helpful post from @midnight_angel !

    @dominant_tonic , I'm sorry to hear that your health has been giving you difficulties, but like you, am hopeful that it will be well controlled so that you can have a good quality of life. And work!

    The basic issue is that the school has a legal obligation to ensure Fitness to Teach before appointing you. And also the obligation to abide by the Equality Act 2010. These two can sometimes be in opposition, actually!

    But as Dom-tom says, HR and the Head are used to keeping things confidential if you wish this.

    Yes, but as a long-standing poster I guess that you know that coming to Jobseekers to ask Aunty Theo's help with an application is the way to go!

    Best wishes

    .
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. dominant_tonic

    dominant_tonic Established commenter

    Thank you so much for taking the time to post. I guess I still feel a little bit at sea with it, because the condition is diverse and has many different symtpoms etc. I'm getting there though, and as I say can handle the symptoms I currently have.

    I was a little wary of the head knowing - I guess I just have to trust her professionalism.

    The OH interview is a bit clearer for me as well now, thank you.

    Thanks Theo too - I will certainly nip over to jobseekers come September. It's a lovely school, typical valleys - prob not so far away from your original stoping ground TG.

    THe kids are tough, but once they trust you, and know you are staying they are fab, and they settle. What you see is what you get. I was going to give up teaching, but found the holy grail of a school that cares, and a school where SLT care about the staff too. I am so happy there.

    Right, I will sort everything out health-wise when it comes, but no drama.

    Fantastic. THank you both :)
     
    ilovesooty and midnight_angel like this.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Then don't be at all worried about the head knowing.
    You apply, they give you an offer subject to medical fitness. You fill in a questionnaire and maybe attend an OH interview. All is well and you keep on teaching. :)
     
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Ooh I do like the Aunty Theo reference!;)

    It is indeed 'the holy grail' so well done on finding it, especially in Wales and trust all goes well for you.
     
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    .

    Look forward to hearing from you down on Jobseekers, @dominant_tonic !

    (Down on because you have to scroll down. I used to say Over on , , ,)

    Best wishes

    .
     

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